Party Inspiration: Farmer’s Markets

It is Farmer’s Market season and I couldn’t be more excited. If you have never eaten local, in-season, organic produce then I might venture to say you have not lived. So, get living! Find a local farmer’s market and enjoy the sites, sounds and tastes of a completely local experience. Hey, and while you are at it, why not throw a party?
The colors of the farmer’s market alone can inspire a party. But, I found a few things to really get the party planner in you inspired to throw an affordable event that will stimulate the local economy as well as your friends love for great foods.

I’ve put a few links to iDiY’s tutorial on throwing together beautiful arrangements with super market flowers. Why not use the same skills with gorgeous local flowers?

Here are my top three uses for Farmer’s Market Flowers in a party:
1. Decorations! Put them in a vase in the middle of a Sunday morning brunch with friends or throw them in the bathroom to spruce up the place.
2. Party Favors!  Give individual bouquets to guests or splurge a little and buy individual potted plants so the gift can keep giving all season long.
3. Activities! Throw a flower arranging party. Group like flowers in vases in the middle of a long table that is draped in butcher paper. Put flower arranging supplies at each guest’s spot at the table. Have small vases ready for guest to arrange their flowers in– it will double as the guest’s party favor.

The options are endless… the gorgeous food and beverages that I find at the Farmer’s Market never fail to inspire me to cook something delicious to share with friends or family.

Here are my top three uses for Farmer’s Market Foods in a party:
1. Potluck! I grew up Baptist… I love a good potluck. Inspire your friends to also shop locally by throwing a “Farmer’s Market Potluck.” Everyone attending the party must bring a dish created from the in-season foods found at the Farmer’s Market. Decorate the place with a “farm” theme and those beautiful flowers that you got while at the market and your set for a delicious and fun dinner.
2. Summer Barbecue! No growth hormones, well-treated and fed cows make the most AMAZING steaks. (If you are a vegetarian, try grilling asparagus- it is also very tasty.) But, seriously, if you haven’t spent the extra money to get a piece of meat that is not treated, enhanced and basically grown for you in a lab- please do. It is worth every penny. Throw some good meat and veggies on the grill. Pop open a beer or soda. Make a pitcher of sangria. Any time the grill is on the party is on as well.
3. Cook Off! Have the best two cooks you know show you some culinary skills by having a cook-off with farmer’s market goodies. -OR- Split friends up in teams and send both teams to the market with the same amount of money. The team that comes up with the best dish wins a culinary prize–don’t forget to share the recipes!

All of the images above were taken by yours truly with my tiny point and shoot camera. They were also all taken at MY local farmer’s market: The Beaverton Farmer’s Market. If you live in the Portland, OR area then I HIGHLY suggest you visit this fantastic farmer’s market–open Saturdays!

Questions for my Readers: Where is your favorite farmer’s market? What party would you throw with farmer’s market finds?

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